Healthcare Transformation Awards

In 2015, The Alliance® Board of Directors established the Healthcare Transformation Awards program to recognize people and/or organizations that demonstrated alignment with The Alliance mission of moving health care forward by controlling costs, improving quality, and engaging individuals in their health.

Today, the awards have shifted to align with our High-Value Health Care strategy and are announced at the The Alliance Fall Symposium & Annual Meeting.


Healthcare Transformation Awards Criteria

Healthcare Transformation Award recipients must demonstrate their commitment to promoting effective change in the health care marketplace based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • High-Value Health Care: Is taking action to significantly improve the quality and/or affordability of health care
  • Transparency: Is achieving significant gains in the availability and/or use of meaningful information to compare price and quality
  • Payment Reform: Is developing, testing, or implementing value-based payment approaches to encourage high-quality, affordable care
  • Provider Network Design: Is developing, testing, or implementing approaches to make high-value health care providers easily accessible to employees
  • Benefit Plan Design: Is developing, testing, or implementing approaches to support the appropriate use of high-value providers and treatments by consumers

Healthcare Transformation Award Winners 2020

Four Healthcare Transformation Awards were given to individuals or organizations that made significant contributions to transforming health care in their communities when The Alliance held its 30th Annual Fall Symposium and Business Meeting on Oct. 1, 2020. (The Alliance decided to forgo the Healthcare Transformation Awards in 2021 due to receiving few submissions that met the award’s high standards.)

Matt Ohrt, VP of HR and Medical Services at Merrill Steel, Schofield, WI 

Matt Ohrt earned a Healthcare Transformation Award for greatly expanded high-value health care accessibility and delivery at Merrill Steel through implementing an on-site clinic, a company-sponsored mobile clinic, and encouraging and supporting the Merrill Steel workforce to engage in their health benefits programs – all while saving his organization $4 million in health care costs over four years. In addition to no-cost prescription fulfillment and physical therapy, the clinic offers MRIs for just $100. Ohrt also started a Local Best Practices group to help bring employers together and learn from one another. Merrill Steel has been a leader in structural steel fabrication and industrial platework for more than five decades. Now in their third generation of family ownership, they are proud to offer fully integrated engineering, detailing, project management, fabrication, delivery, and erection services. 

Traci Rothenburger, Clinic Manager at Nordic PrivateCare, Baraboo, WI 

Traci Rothenburger received a Healthcare Transformation Award for pioneering health care transformation for three decades by creating high-value health care programs and clinics throughout her career. At Nordic PrivateCare, she’s made health care more affordable and accessible by offering medical, prescription, chiropractic, massage therapy, physical therapy, and mental health services in an on-site clinic setting. Additionally, the success of her clinic has significantly reduced health care spending through an overall reduction in emergency and specialty care. Nordic PrivateCare was created by Flambeau, Inc., which has roughly 360 employees in its Baraboo location. Flambeau and its divisions offer a wide range of product and tooling solutions to businesses, professionals, hobbyists and enthusiasts all over the world. Flambeau offers a network of professionals ready to provide customer assistance in design and specifications of injection molded and blow molded thermoplastic components, products, building of tools / tooling and fixtures, and contract manufacturing of complete assemblies and finished products.

Nordic Group of Companies

Tena Hoag, CFO at Advanced Laser, Chippewa Falls, WI 

Tena Hoag was awarded with a Healthcare Transformation Award for greatly expanded her 160 employees’ access to high-value health care through no and low-cost solutions – including physical therapy, behavioral health, and primary care – using a shared near-site clinic that she championed. Additionally, Hoag has continually supported and educated other employers and local government entities through speaking engagements, radio segments, and other hosted events. In January, she spoke to Governor Evers’ Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drugs to influence change on issues that negatively affect employee health and prescription spend. Tena’s accomplishments represent Advanced Laser’s innovative and forward-thinking culture. Advanced Laser is determined to offer meaningful and affordable benefits to ensure employees are offered a complete wellbeing package. Established in 1996, Advanced Laser started small, but has grown quickly. In 2004 they doubled their footprint, only to double it again in 2014. In 2018, they expanded their locations to add a manufacturing location in Spooner, Wisconsin. In 2019, an additional state-of-the-art facility was constructed next to their existing manufacturing facility in Chippewa Falls to support their growing assembly business. Advanced Laser has been listed within The Fabricator’s “Fab 40” four years in a row and is a recognized contributor to the Chippewa Falls community. 

Advanced Laser

Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO)

WHIO won a Healthcare Transformation Award by improving the value of health care through its All-Payer Claims Database (APCD), an information resource that is used to identify and address variations in the quality, safety and efficiency of care. The non-profit organization provides a unique and valuable perspective on health care by sharing important data and informational insights that is otherwise unavailable. As Wisconsin’s APCD, the WHIO information system includes about 4.5 million insured individuals in Wisconsin and about $50 billion in billed charges annually. The WHIO information system obtains claims data from commercial health plans, self-funded employers, Medicare and Medicaid, cleans and integrates the data, and then organizes it into high-quality, accessible, and user-friendly products. The WHIO data and information is used by health systems to benchmark and improve the care they deliver. It also helps health plans and employers identify high-value providers to include in networks and feature in benefit plans. 

Wisconsin Health Information Organization

Previous Winners




  • Gundersen Health System
  • John Nygren, Wisconsin State Representative
  • Open Notes, Catherine DesRoches
  • Miniature Precision Components
  • Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality (WCHQ)


  • Beaver Dam Community Hospital
  • The Leapfrog Group
  • Natasha Plank-Ottum, CEO of Plank Enterprises
  • Valerie Shields, Stoughton, Wis.
  • Webcrafters Inc.


  • Dianne Kiehl, “Driver of Meaningful Change”, Executive Director, The Business Health Care Group
  • QualityPath Designated Hospitals and Doctors
  • SMARTCare
    • Dr. Thomas Lewandowski
    • Dr. Anthony DeFranco
    • Dr. Tim Bartholow